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Why Do Dentists Need Your Health History?

We know no one enjoys filling out paperwork, but in any medical environment, all those questions about your medications and medical history are incredibly important. Most people acknowledge that they need to fill out paperwork at places like their GP or orthopedic, but at dental offices, paperwork is often left ignored and unfinished. Because people typically come to the dentist twice a year, it can feel more routine than going to other medical offices. This translates to people not feeling the need to mention things like new medications or recent surgeries. Your teeth don’t have much to do with the rest of your body, right? In reality, your overall health has a strong impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Even small changes to your medical history can impact how we approach your dental treatment options.

List all of your medications

Almost all medications — even over-the-counter drugs — come with long lists of side effects. Most decongestants and many antihistamines can severely reduce saliva production. Saliva helps keep your teeth “clean” in-between brushing by washing away harmful bacteria. If we know that you’re on a medication that affects saliva production, we can take some proactive measures to ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.

Some other medications that may affect your saliva production include painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants. If you’re taking any kind of medication regularly, make sure your dentist knows — even if you don’t think it’s affecting your teeth or mouth directly. With anything medical, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

List all illnesses and conditions

Your mouth is a gateway for harmful bacteria, allowing them to easily move from your teeth and gums to affect the rest of your body. Poor oral health can exacerbate, and even cause, certain conditions, including endocarditis and cardiovascular disease. Letting your dentist know about your health conditions — including your family’s health history — is vital. If endocarditis runs in your family, your dentist may recommend coming in for three or four cleanings a year instead of two, just to make sure there are no bacteria that can wind up near your heart.

Your oral health can also impact pregnancy. Recent studies link periodontal disease to low birth weights and premature births. We typically recommend that pregnant women come in for cleanings every three months instead of every six months if they’re struggling with their gum health.

Other conditions that relate to your oral health include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis. These illnesses can make the mouth more susceptible to gum disease, mucosal lesions, and tooth loss respectively. The best way to keep yourself healthy is to tell your dentist exactly what sort of conditions you have so they can create a treatment plan that works for you.

Recent surgery or injury? Let us know

Surgeries and injuries — on any part of the body — can affect oral surgeries and treatments. At our office, we approach every case with individual, personalized care. If we don’t know your medical history, we could make a mistake. Keep us in the loop on any and all changes by filling out all requested paperwork and talking to your dentist while you’re in the office. We want every visit to our office to be beneficial and worthwhile to you but for that to be possible, we need your help.

What brought you to Stanley Dentistry?

“My name is Beth Griffin and I’m from Lumberton, North Carolina. In my younger years, I didn’t really have a smile. We grew up on a farm and mom didn’t really introduce a toothbrush or toothpaste — none of that stuff. I guess, eating different foods caused cavities and I’d lose a bunch [of teeth]. I probably didn’t have but six or seven [teeth] even in my early twenties. It was painful. I mean, just seeing other people smile and I couldn’t. It hurt. I just kept the pain deep inside — but I looked happy. But I wasn’t. 

I got on Google and came across the caption Stanley Dentistry. It said “Find my Smile” and it drew me to Cary Parkway where I had my first visit. I went in and Dr. Rob and Dr. Bobbi introduced themselves. I sat in the chair and I told them, you know, about my smile. And they set me down and they told me ways they could improve it. They looked [my case] over through the weekend and I came back in the following week. They gave me an outline of what procedures they would do from the first visit all the way to the end. 

How was your experience at Stanley Dentistry?

The first step, when I came in, I felt at ease. They had the best, gentle care. I didn’t feel any pain. Each procedure, they told me what was going to happen and what to expect. I was pretty calm.

What was your reaction to your new smile?

It was amazing. I think I shed a little tear because going all those years without a smile and then getting to see this, what I had now. It was overwhelming. It really was. I felt blown away. I was like, that’s really me? My family was like, ‘Really? What did you have done?’ And you know, I told them all along, I’m getting some implants. And my friends, they were like ‘Where’s this at? I’m going up there for sure!’ 

I mean, this has been over 5 [years ago] and I still get compliments today. The biggest change I’ve seen — I’m able to eat food now that I couldn’t eat before. Apples, for sure! Candies, steak. I can tell a big difference in the chew. 

How was your experience with the Stanley Dentistry team?

I think Drs. Stanley and the whole team were awesome, very knowledgeable, kind, gentle. They stick to their word. The work is beautiful. They’re really awesome. 

My name is Beth Griffin. I’m from Lumberton, North Carolina and I found my smile at Stanley Dentistry.”

Ready to schedule an Omega Teeth consultation?   

Omega Teeth full-mouth dental implants are for people who’re tired of dealing with endless cavities, root canals, and extractions. They’re tired of experiencing constant dental pain and they want a real, long-lasting solution that looks as good as it feels.

If this describes you, come into Stanley Dentistry for an Omega Teeth consultation. We’ll give you a quick exam and see if the Omega Teeth procedure is right for you. Set up your appointment here or call (919) 460-9665.

What is pregnancy gingivitis?

“Pregnancy gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that comes from a surge in hormones. It can be many different hormones but progesterone is the number one cause of it. It [progesterone] causes red, swollen, irritated gums. That’s called pregnancy gingivitis. It can turn into something even more serious called periodontal disease. That’s not just from pregnancy. Periodontal disease is a more serious condition where bacteria actually creep below the gum line and causes an infection in the bone. It can end up causing you to lose your teeth down the road if you were not to treat it along with other health issues. Pregnancy gingivitis can be the precursor to periodontal issues so you want to make sure it doesn’t cross into that dangerous stage. 

Periodontal disease can complicate the immune system and it can hurt your overall health. That’s true for men and women — but with women, it can cause preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Preterm birth can cause all types of issues for kids. They can have learning disabilities down the road, hearing and vision loss, and/or chronic health problems like asthma infections. You really want to do everything you can to make sure that the baby goes full-term.

How can I prevent pregnancy gingivitis?

Believe it or not, 40% of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease. Come in and see your hygienist and your dentist and let them do an overall exam check of your periodontal health. They’ll make sure you’re healthy and that way, if you do have any issues going on, they can either give you some home care instructions or possibly treat any periodontal issues you might have. For gingivitis, that just means a really food cleaning and follow-up home care. Sometimes you’ll need some medicines and mouthwashes — things like that could help you get through it.

And then, if you have periodontal disease, there is treatment. We do periodontal therapy where we clean below the gemlike to clean some things out. You’d want to make sure that you schedule regular visits. Here at Stanley Dentistry, we like to see our pregnant patients at least every three to four months to make sure that, if there are any bacterial infections going on, you can get those taken care of before they become an issue. 

I make sure I floss every day once, if not twice. Before, I was just a once-a-day flosser. I brush two to three times a day and I do get my cleanings more often while I’m pregnant.”

Schedule your cleaning at Stanley Dentistry   

If you’re pregnant, taking care of your teeth and gums should be a priority. Schedule a cleaning online here or call (919) 460-9665.

What made you come into Stanley Dentistry?

“I’m a big wuss. So, I need somebody that’s going to take care of my teeth on the painless dentistry side. I was looking for somebody who practices that. I heard about Dr. Stanley — the dentist to the stars. So, I came in and, once again, I never looked back. It’s an easy experience. I don’t mind coming to the dentist anymore. 

Each and every time I’ve gotten more comfortable coming here. I’ve never been sedated — but I did get needles in the gums, which is fine. Both Stanleys, the docs, they’re great. I tell everybody — come on down. 

How was your experience with the Stanley Dentistry team?

They’re very professional at all times. Very friendly and easy-going. [They] explain to you everything that’s going on. They make sure that you’re comfortable with it. It’s just a great overall experience every time you come in the chair. Never an issue. They’re there for you the whole time — even afterward. Whatever work you have done — you can call them, they’ll call you. You’re going away, they’ll give you someone to talk to when you’re going away — if god forbid something should happen. They’re great people.

Would you recommend Stanley Dentistry?

Absolutely. You gotta come down and see the Stanleys. Both of them. I got two screws [dental implants] in my mouth so I’ll say I got screwed by Drs. Stanley. Everything was good. It was awesome. That’s about it. I can’t say enough. Great job, guys!”

When you’re here, you’re family

At Stanley Dentistry, we know getting dental work done (and sometimes, just entering a dental office) can be difficult for some people. Dental anxiety is a very real phenomenon for many of our patients which is why we take it so seriously. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we will do everything we can to make your dental visits as stress and pain-free as possible. Our hygienists, dental assistants, and doctors are experts on minimizing discomfort during dental procedures (even ones as simple as routine cleanings). When you’re here, we want you to be as comfortable as possible so if there’s ever anything that makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, please let us know. We’re here to help improve your health — not progress your anxiety.

If you’re ready to get started on your dental treatment, feel free to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors. They’ll go over your different options and how they can help improve the health and function of your teeth. We’ll see you soon!

we are open

We are reopening our office for elective procedures (including cleanings) on May 11th! While we’re very excited to see and help our patients again, we first wanted to quickly go over the precautions that we will be taking to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.

At Stanley Dentistry, our responsibility to our patients is to provide the highest standards of dental office infection control. We consider protecting the health of our patients and our team our top priority.

It is important to us that our patients feel safe and well-cared for during their appointments. We have always maintained a high standard of cleanliness but we are now taking it a step further to curb the spread of COVID-19. In order to follow the infection control guidelines recommended by the ADA & NCDS, we are implementing some new protocols. When you come in for your appointment post-May 11th, you can rest assured that your overall health and well-being is our major concern. Below are our new sanitation guidelines.

COVID-19 Prevention Protocols


Smoking damages nearly every single part of your body, including your teeth. If you’re a longterm smoker, you have a much higher chance of losing your natural teeth at a younger age. Why? As strange as it sounds, it has to do with saliva.

Saliva keeps your teeth healthy

If the human mouth didn’t have saliva, we’d be in trouble. Saliva is the body’s natural way of halting a massive build-up of dangerous bacteria in the mouth (bacteria that leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease). Brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep your mouth bacteria-free but saliva is so efficient at keeping things clean because it’s working all the time — not just in the morning and right before bed. Drinking lots of water supplements your saliva, making it even more potent against bacteria.

The chemicals in tobacco products slow down the natural cycle of saliva regeneration. Less saliva equals more tartar. As the tartar builds up, causing periodontal disease, the gums recede, revealing more and more of the tooth’s root. Eventually, the bond between the tooth and the gums will become so weak that the tooth will fall out. This happens to smokers and non-smokers alike but the chances of getting periodontal disease are much higher if you use tobacco products.

Delayed healing

The deadly chemicals in cigarettes make them menacingly effective at delaying natural healing in the mouth. If you’re a smoker and you consider yourself a “slow healer” when it comes to oral surgery, you need to realize the connection between the two. Smoking and gum tissue don’t get along well. Cigarettes cause decreased blood flow in the mouth and a higher risk of infection — both of which can spell danger for oral surgeries. Chances are, your oral surgeon will try to encourage you to give up smoking prior to the procedure. It can wreck that much havoc post-surgery.

With dental implants, smoking can cause the dental implant to fail completely, wasting both the surgeon’s time and the patient’s money. The problem is, a lot of people who get dental implants are getting them because they lost their teeth from smoking. We regularly see patients who choose to allow their dental implant(s) to fail rather than give up smoking. It’s an incredibly difficult habit to break but, if you care about your dental health (and your overall health), you have to do it.


From a cosmetic dentistry standpoint, smoking is far from forgiving. Like the tips of their fingers, smokers’ teeth frequently become a sickly yellow color. The yellow stains from smoking sink deep into the enamel, making them impossible to remove with at-home whitening methods. Professional whitening has varying levels of success when trying to remove smoking stains.

Oral cancer

We all know smoking leads to cancer but did you know that, according to WebMD, about 90 percent of people diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, throat, or lips used tobacco? The same study showed that smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers. While there are ways to treat oral cancer, it’s still incredibly dangerous and deadly. The best way to prevent it is to give up any and all forms of tobacco.

Ready to quit?

Save your teeth and save your health by quitting smoking. You can find some useful resources from the CDC here.

We are open for emergencies and virtual consults

In response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, our office has decided to postpone all elective treatment until May 11th. Your health and wellness is always our number one priority. Elective treatment includes cleanings and new patient consultations. As always, we will still be open for emergencies and for major procedures that could not be rescheduled. We will also be conducting virtual consultations for people who would like to start their dental treatment while in the safety and comfort of their homes. Simply go to our Make an Appointment page and let us know that you’re interested in setting up virtual consultation. We will call you shortly to schedule.

Like our in-person consultations, our virtual consultations are 100% free. They offer patients some time with the doctors to ask questions about different procedures. The doctor may ask you to take some pictures of your smile so they can start putting together a customized treatment plan. Once our office opens back up, you can come in and immediately get started with whatever procedures the doctor has recommended.

Who should ask for a virtual consultation?

Unless you are experiencing an emergency, we recommend scheduling a virtual consultation at this time. We may not be able to give a diagnosis, but we will be able to answer some of your questions and begin your journey to a healthier, brighter smile. So many of our patients go into their first consultation thinking they need one thing and, after talking to the doctor, leave knowing they need something completely different. This virtual consultation is a time to clear the air and get both the patient and the doctor on the same page.

What platform are your virtual consultations on?

We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We’re more than willing to work with you when it comes to choosing a good platform for your virtual consultation. If you have an iPhone, we recommend using FaceTime. If that doesn’t work, we are open to using other platforms including Zoom and Skype.

We are also offering virtual consults that do not need to be scheduled. For these, you can simply send in a description of your smile along with a few pictures. One of our doctors will create a short video for you explaining a good course of treatment. If this style of consult interests you, please click here.

How do I schedule a virtual consultation?

This is the easy part! To schedule a virtual consultation with one of our doctors, you can either call 919-371-4454 or you can go to our Make an Appointment page and request one. We’ll handle it from there!

preventing coronavirus

Your health and safety is our priority

Since our team works in the healthcare field, wiping down and sanitizing surfaces isn’t anything new for us. We perform oral surgeries in our office every day which means we systematically create sterile environments in order to keep our patients safe from infection. The threat of COVID-19 obviously encourages us to be extra careful when wiping down things like keyboards and door handles, but the truth is, we’ve always taken the spread of disease seriously. We already understand how viruses spread and how to prevent them to the best of our capabilities. Our office has wipes and sanitizer stocked up because, even before the coronavirus, we used them to continuously clean patient rooms and common areas. I don’t have to train my team on how to keep our office safe and clean because they already know how to.

Places like airports, movie theaters, and grocery stores are panicking in response to COVID-19 because they aren’t used to taking disease-prevention precautions. This is because, under typical circumstances, they don’t need to. This is leading to a mass-hysteria that’s actually supporting the spread of the virus instead of halting it. Panicking never helps. Preparing and educating yourself and the people around you on practical methods of sanitation are the only ways to slow the spread.

We’ve put out hand sanitizer and tissues in the patient rooms and the common areas. Please feel free to use these while you are in the office. If you cannot locate either of these items, just as any member of our team. They will be happy to help!

If you have any questions about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself from it, please consult the CDC’s guidelines.

dentist price shopping image

The internet has made us reliant on price-tags. Brick-and-mortar stores have obviously utilized the price-tag for a while now. However, the internet makes it that much easier to quickly and easily look up the exact price of everything from a gallon of milk to a luxury sports car. You can see the price, check your bank account, and buy the good all while sitting on the couch.

Thanks to this ease of access to prices, we expect to know exactly how much we’re going to pay the second we begin to consider the idea of purchasing an item/service. In some ways, that’s a completely valid thing to want. Money doesn’t grow on trees — people have to budget. But, what if what you’re buying isn’t as cut-and-dry as a gallon of milk or a sweatshirt? What if you’re buying a service? And what if you can’t really anticipate exactly what that service will entail until you talk to a specialist?

If you Google the price of implants or veneers or bonding, you will not get a single flat rate. You won’t even get a reasonable range of prices. That’s because, in the medical world, very few procedures have flat fees. We’re here to explain why that is and why (most likely) your dentist or doctor isn’t trying to screw you over financially. Not handing out flat-prices to potential patients is how they protect you from hidden fees.

Why is price-shopping dentist offices useless?

A big rule in our office is to never entertain price-shoppers. It’s not that we want to be mean or make them feel like we don’t have time to talk. That’s actually the last thing we want to do. We just want them to realize that, there is no way for us to give an accurate estimate to the price of most dental procedures before we see the state of the patient’s mouth. Why is this? Because every person who comes into our office has a unique case. No two mouths are the same which means no two procedures are truly the same.

There are a lot of people who call our office asking us what the flat price is for a single dental implant. We could give them the price of the physical implant but without taking 3D scans of their mouth, we wouldn’t know if they need a bone graft in order to make the implant successful. The patient might also think they just need one dental implant when in reality, after an exam, the doctor recommends three or four implants instead. Once again, thanks to the internet, a lot of people self-diagnose their dental problems. Someone may think they need a cavity filled when in reality they need a root canal — or extraction and an implant.

If we said on the phone that the implant would cost X amount, then it looks like we’re essentially lying if we have to add on the cost of a bone graft, or a deep-cleaning, or an additional implant. We’re not lying. We’re just giving the patient the care they need. But because we gave them this flat-price during their first phone call, they may expect that initial amount to cover any additional services.

This is our dilemma

As an office, we have to make a choice of whether we want to tell price-shoppers on the phone a number that most likely won’t be true or if we want to refrain from talking cost over the phone. We’ve decided to take the second approach. We always want to be as transparent with our patients as possible. When we say we don’t know exactly what the price will be, we’re telling the truth. Until we look at a case, there is no way to know for certain what procedures are needed. Because of this, Drs. Stanley decided to offer completely complimentary consultations. During a free consultation, the doctor will talk to you, take a look at your case, and map out what treatment you need and how much it costs.

Come on in!

Want to know how much a dental implant would cost at Stanley Dentistry? Schedule a free consultation! You will be able to speak with one of our doctors about your specific case and your treatment options. You’ll be much happier at the end of your consultation since you’ll know exactly what your treatment costs instead of hearing an inaccurate estimate over the phone.

Every day, we get tons of phone calls asking the same thing: “are you in-network”? We answer with the same thing every time: “We are not in-network but we work with all insurances.” This frequently catches people off guard because they don’t actually know what a PPO plan is or how dental insurance truly works. They assume out-of-network equals zero insurance coverage. We can’t really blame them — dental insurance is a never-ending web of confusion and changing quotes. If we weren’t in this business, we probably wouldn’t know how dental insurance works either. It’s not like anyone typically “teaches” you these things — you’re just supposed to know somehow.

The problem is, because so many people don’t understand dental insurance, they make a lot of assumptions about what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and where they should go to get the best coverage. We’re here to debunk all those myths and explain what exactly a non-contracted dentist means (and why we’re one!)

What is a PPO plan?

A PPO dental insurance plan is short for Preferred Provider Organizations. The name is sort of misleading because a PPO plan is the kind of plan that accepts both “preferred providers” (aka in-network offices) and non-preferred providers (aka out-of-network offices). If you have a PPO plan, which many people do, your insurance will most likely cover a portion of your treatment at an out-of-network provider.

How do in-network discounts work?

In-network (aka “contracted dentists”) dentists sign contracts with dental insurance companies promising to charge pre-determined amounts for certain services. The pre-determined amounts are oftentimes significantly lower than what any office would normally be willing to charge. Why would a dentist be willing to charge so much less? Because the insurance companies swear that in-network dentists get more patients. In a perfect world, the increase in the volume of patients would make up for the lower cost of services (quantity over quality).

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. The extreme discounts that contracted dentists have to give may be good for patients’ pockets but they can force dentists to cut dangerous corners. A great example is dental labs. A lot of dental procedures require dental labs to make the necessary materials (like retainers, dentures, bridges, etc.) The price you pay at a non-contracted dentist covers that lab cost. At an in-network dentist, the office may have to absorb those lab costs. After a while of this, the dentist may decide to use a cheaper lab that doesn’t make as good of products but offers lower prices. Patients may get a cheap denture from their in-network dentist but because the office had to cut corners to make enough money, the denture probably won’t last.

Cheaper doesn’t equal better

This scenario applies to almost every aspect of dentistry. In-network dentists are constantly trying to stay afloat because a mazework of different contracts dictate their pricing. Unfortunately, the care in-network dentists are able to give suffers because they have to make some serious sacrifices. This is why a lot of in-network dentists are switching to out-of-network. They realize that, as in-network providers, they’re cutting corners and negatively affecting their patients’ dental health. After all, if you can’t give your patients the care they deserve then what’s the point of being a dentist?

Will I have to file my own insurance at an out-of-network dentist?

This is another big myth that our new patients come in with. There are very few, if any, out-of-network offices that force their patients to call and file their own insurance. Why? Because if you’ve never filed insurance before, you’re probably not going to do it correctly. As with most things dental insurance companies do, filing is a complicated process. In our office, we have a member of our team who does it all day. She knows the lingo and how to get it done efficiently and correctly. When you come in as a new patient, we’ll take a look at your insurance, explain your benefits and, after your appointment, file your insurance for you.

Aren’t the best dentists in-network?

Your insurance company might tell you that the best dentists in your area are in-network providers but, in truth, they have no idea about the credentials of the dentists they’re partnered with. The only qualifications they’re looking for are a dental license and a clean criminal record. They don’t care about how many hours of continuing education or how many fellowships the dentist has. There are so few dentists who are willing to go in-network because it’s such an uncomfortable partnership. It’s safe to say that the dentists who do sign contracts with insurance companies are probably not the best of the best.

I still want cheap dental work

We oftentimes give patients who are worried about prices the “car” talk. Dental work is an investment, just like a car is an investment. Everyone knows that if you buy an old, cheap car you’ll be in and out of the mechanic’s shop. This is because old cars need constant work. It’s a simple equation: the older the car, the more money you’ll have to pour into it down the line.

Dental work is the same way. If you go to a contracted dentist and get poor work done, you can’t expect it to last forever (or even a few years). You’ll pour more money into your dental health because the in-network dentist wasn’t able to deliver quality treatment during your first appointment. What seemed cheaper at the start often times ends up much more expensive then what an out-of-network dentist would’ve charged right off the bat.

Still not convinced? There are lots of people who don’t want to pay out-of-network prices and that’s okay. It’s just important to keep in mind that, in dentistry, the discount an in-network dentist gives can mean additional costs in a few years.

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